Forum Energy Metals CEO Richard Mazur discusses the company’s joint venture with Rio Tinto for its Janice Lake project in Saskatchewan.
Forum Energy Metals (TSXV:FMC) CEO Richard Mazur believes that the company’s recent joint venture agreement with Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO,LSE:RIO,NYSE:RIO) speaks to the potential of the Janice Lake copper project in Saskatchewan.
The Janice Lake sedimentary project was previously drilled by Noranda and Phelps Dodge, which recovered significant copper grades over a 6 kilometer strike length. Forum, a Canadian mineral resource company looking for uranium and copper in Saskatchewan, acquired the project in February 2018. In the company’s initial drill program, all four drill holes encountered mineralization and captured the attention of the majors, leading to the joint venture with Rio Tinto.
In the interview below, Mazur outlines the terms of the joint venture with Rio Tinto, which has the option to earn an 80 percent interest in Janice Lake, and gives an overview of how Rio Tinto became involved with the project. He also provides an overview of the company’s upcoming exploration program on Janice Lake, which will include a high-resolution magnetometer survey and drilling.
Mazur discusses working in Saskatchewan, where the company has received support from the government as well as First Nations groups and local communities within the province.
Below is a transcript of our interview with Forum Energy Metals CEO Richard Mazur. It has been edited for clarity and brevity.
Investing News Network: Can you tell us more about Forum’s joint venture with Rio Tinto Exploration?
Forum Energy Metals CEO Richard Mazur: A minimum of $3 million in exploration must be completed on our Janice Lake sedimentary copper project in Northern Saskatchewan. Rio Tinto can earn a 51 percent interest by spending $10 million on exploration, and an 80 percent interest by spending $30 million. Forum will also receive cash payments of $640,000 over seven years and Rio Tinto will make $200,000 in underlying payments to finish paying Transition Metals (TSXV:XTM) for our 100 percent interest in Janice Lake.
INN: Can you give us a bit of background on the Janice Lake project?
RM: Janice Lake was drilled by Noranda in the 1990s and Phelps Dodge in 2003. Both companies recovered significant copper grades over a 6 kilometer strike extent. We acquired the property in February 2018 for 8 million shares and future cash payments of $250,000. In September 2018, we drilled four holes and encountered mineralization in each hole. Significant results include 19 meters grading 1 percent copper and 5.7 meters grading over 2 percent copper. Our results attracted the attention of the majors and resulted in our joint venture with Rio Tinto.
INN: What do you think attracted Rio Tinto to the Janice Lake project?
RM: Copper grades in mines around the world are declining, and I think Rio Tinto decided to focus on new copper projects in the Americas. They are also very active in Saskatchewan. They have a joint venture on Star Diamond’s (TSX:DIAM) Star-Orion South diamond project and on our Henday uranium project in the Athabasca Basin.
Rio Tinto likes large, sedimentary copper deposits, like those found in the Central African Copperbelt. I believe that they see potential in Janice Lake because only 6 kilometers out of 30 kilometers have been drill tested.
INN: What are Forum and Rio Tinto’s plans for this year?
RM: First off, we’re excited to have Rio Tinto as a joint venture partner as their expertise and proprietary technology applied to the Janice Lake project will significantly impact our shareholders. We’re going to put together a structural framework for the sedimentary basin as well as a high-resolution magnetometer survey over the property. There is a relationship between the magnetic highs and copper mineralization. We’re also going to drill. Rio Tinto wants to drill 30 holes this summer.
INN: What makes Saskatchewan Canada’s number one mining province?
RM: Saskatchewan has been Canada’s number one mining jurisdiction for many years, and has been the world’s number one in the past. It is a fantastic place to explore for gold, copper, uranium and diamonds. The mining industry in Saskatchewan has a lot of support from the local and First Nations communities as well as the government. Additionally, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Mines’ Department of Geological Sciences provides an excellent geological database, which underscores the economic potential of the province.
This interview is sponsored by Forum Energy Metals (TSXV:FMC). This interview provides information which was sourced by the Investing News Network (INN) and approved by Forum Energy Metals in order to help investors learn more about the company. Forum Energy Metals is a client of INN. The company’s campaign fees pay for INN to create and update this interview.
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